Biographies

All 'Biographies' are listed here in the order that they were published. We aim to have an assortment of biographies of individuals who are Nordic or have a connection to the Nordics, and who have made an impact on Nordic and/or international society in the modern era. Our long term aim is to focus on those who are little known and to be inclusive. 

Karl Vennberg in 1960, Photo: Unkown, Albert Bonniers förlag. Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

2019.11.20 | Biography, Anne Heith, Literature

Karl Vennberg (1910–1995)

The Swedish poet Karl Vennberg, who was awarded the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 1972, published collections that contained various messages, including criticism towards Western culture and romanticism, and the lauding of everyday life as central.

Portrait of Ulla Isaksson from 1952. Photo: Jan Ehnemark. (CC-BY).

2019.11.08 | Biography, Anne Heith, Literature

Ulla Isaksson (1916-2000)

Much of the work of writer Ulla Isaksson focuses on the lives of women and their relationships, but also includes screenplays and autobiograhpical and biographical literature.

Portrait of Lars Ahlin c. 1960. Photo: unknown. Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

2019.10.31 | Biography, Anne Heith, Literature

Lars Ahlin (1915–1997)

Lars Ahlin was a Swedish writer whose work explores aestheticism, degradation and the loss of dignity, as well as equality and democracy.

Gunnar Björling by his typewriter in 1960. Photo: Holger Eklund. Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

2019.10.22 | Biography, Anne Heith, Literature

Gunnar Björling (1887–1960)

Poet Gunnar Björling flouted conventional grammar and syntax rules and is recognised as a radical, modernist in Sweden.

Portrait of Sonja Åkesson from 1968. Photo: Arne Jönsson/Scanpix. Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

2019.10.03 | Biography, Anne Heith, Literature

Sonja Åkesson (1926–1977)

Swedish poet Sonja Åkesson advocated the use of colloquial language and themes from everyday life, and her style and humour influenced the next generation of particularly women writers and feminists.

Portrait of a young Asta Nielsen from The Danish Film Museum (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

2019.08.28 | Biography, Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, The arts

Asta Nielsen (1881-1972)

The Danish theatre actress Asta Sophie Amalie Nielsen became a silent screen world star overnight after her leading role in the silent movie Afgrunden (The Abyss/The Woman always Pays) in 1910.

The Danish playwright Kjeld Abell made the curtain himself for the first performance in 1935 of his first play, the hugely succesful The Melody That Got Lost. (Public domain)

2019.08.27 | Biography, Tom Lundskær-Nielsen, The arts

Kjeld Abell (1901-1961)

Kjeld Abell is one of the most prominent and innovative Danish playwrights in the 20th century. In his early plays he satirises the narrow, conventional outlook of the bourgeoisie from a socialist viewpoint. Later, he focuses on political commitment and moral dilemmas, inspired by World War II and the German occupation of Denmark, while the…

Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer at Writers' and Literary Translators' International Conference in Stockholm, June 30, 2008. Photo: Andrei Romanenko (CC BY-SA 3.0)

2019.08.21 | Biography, Linda Haverty Rugg, Literature

Tomas Tranströmer (1931-2015)

Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature, Tomas Tranströmer was one of those rare poets who is both acclaimed by scholars and critics as well as beloved by a broad readership in Sweden and internationally. Translated into over 60 languages, his poetry is characterized by powerful imagery, and focuses particularly on the human interface with…

Ulf Lundell in concert at Borgholm castle, Öland, Sweden, 26 July 2005. Photo: Betasjufem (CC0 1.0)

2019.08.18 | Biography, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, The arts

Ulf Lundell (b. 1949)

Ulf Gerhard Lundell is a Swedish rock singer, composer, author, poet, and artist known as ‘the Swedish Bob Dylan.’

A portrait of Danish film director Susanne Bier from 2013. Photo: Les Kaner (CC BY 3.0)

2019.08.05 | Biography, Linda Haverty Rugg, The arts

Susanne Bier (b. 1960)

Acclaimed Danish film director with many awards to her credit, including an Oscar, Golden Globes, an Emmy, and numerous festival and European prizes, Susanne Bier concentrates on family dynamics and their relation to global concerns in her work, particularly poverty and violence.

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